Saturday, February 25, 2017

queen size bed ii

Continuation from part i

well a fair bit of water passed under the bridge. here the headboard stands, in the white. THe frame is in poplar and i plan coat this with milk paint using a 2 tone schedule: first red, then a bit of topcoat, then black. burnishing/scrubbing will show small patches of red through the black and I think that will be nice. The center panel is reclaimed redwood from some northern CA water tower. I pulled 1/16" sheets of veneer off the bandsaw and applied this to a substrate that was scribed into the frame

first a small change to my shop arrangement here. i pushed the workbench up to the south facing sidelights of the garage and hung some tool hangers on a piece of scrap 1/2" ply on the wall. So far this has been really pleasant to the workflow.
I originally conceived this project to have a curved panels, captured into grooves routed into the surrounding frame. I tried a 3 layer layup using solid poplar sheets milled to 3/32" thick. Unibond 800 urea formaldehyde glue bent around a platen like so. However I was not happy with the springback and I was worried about how the hell to scribe this into the surrounding frame.

Maybe I cuold have used a thin sheet of bendy-plywood between the two layers of veneer, and it would have hugged the curve a bit better. I have searched and searched for ideas on the web on how to do this but still no go...

I started with laminating poplar up to make the headboard posts such that i could bandsaw the curves into the raw wood. I guess this is brute force way of doing things but poplar is cheap and the joinery is a bit easier to figure out if it can be done at 90 degrees. I made a few templates to make the lines. I freehand this on the bandsaw. It's helpful to keep the offcuts so that you can doublestick them to the piece when cutting the adjacent lines.

Here you see i've used the tablesaw with a crosscut sled to define the tennon shoulders for the upper rail joint.

Now i have the rough frame assembly. My next move was to bandsaw the inside curve and then scribe a panel to this
I pattern routed a bunch of ribs out of a full scale drawing and notched them into a leading and trailing edge which i fitted into the inside frame.
I estimated the rough size of the leading and trailing edges from placing a rib insitu. I'd then use a jack plane to shape the 8deg bevel on each edge of the assembly once it was all glued up.
i will be laminating the veneer to a 1/4" nominAL wigglewood substrate glued to the subframe. i figured it'd be easiest to just scribe in the two curved pieces on the side and then skrew in the middle panel
i used washerhead screws to clamp the wigglewood to the subframe while the glue dried. I then applied some putty to the screw holes after the screws were removed. since the veneer is so thick, i dont think i needed to do this but it was easy enough to do.
here's what the panel looks like from the underside. I filled out the curved sides with some spare ribs. Since this is facing the wall, i figure it's okay to reveal this stuff.
here are the veneers that I pulled off from the old redwood, edge jointed to be about 16" wide overall. bookmatched. The wood is so dry and there are a few deep cracks running throughout that impart some "rusty" streaks. I'm Ok with this though...The green tape is something called "binding" tape. it's wonderful masking tape that has a stretchy property, so it works really well at pulling edge banding to plywood, or in this application where you're edge joining thin sheets of wood.
I am using some Unibond 800 that is past it's shelf life but still seems to dry. it's too cold in the garage to cure properly, so i set up the vacuum bag to chooch all day and over the night. luckily it fired off by the morning. The pump is fairly quiet so we were able to sleep despite the noise
To make the bandsaw cuts, i kept the remaining offcuts and reattached them using doublestick tape so that I could make the adjacent cuts
Here's what the backside looks like. It's not so glamourous but since this is the side that faces the wall, i'm ok with it. the panel will be skrewed into place by the tabs you see here

Monday, January 2, 2017

slight detour into some spoon carving

i think i'm burnt out.

i'm trying to attack this bed frame project but keep looking for other things to do. so much compulsory work this year in my shop with the kitchen and bath the time i started making furnace vents for the floor kicks i had had it up to *here* (points to throat) i just want to have a bit more fun. try to use my hands and find their way through the grain. drape this mindset with a long standing desire to get into the kind of woodworking that i *really* want to do which involves carving and cleaving tools. I really want to build some wild appalachian ladderback chairs someday. work with green wood entirely.

well last couple days i just decided to let things run their course and finally set myself down to carving some spoons. never tried that before, and wow has it been fun! Today, i carved out a spoon from a knotty cut of madrone that our friend Suki handed me after we returned to her house from a walk in the hills above the Russian River.

I wish i had taken a before pic of the madrone. it's a "weed" up in these parts, but gorgeous and tight grained. extremely hard when dry, but carvable when it's green. It had a few knots that needed to be taken into consideration, but when you flow with the grain of the wood, you end up with some pretty cool shapes. the crook of this spoon just happened that way to meander around a knot.

I don't have what you'd call the best spoon carving toolkit, which might include a hook knife and a larger gouge. instead i used a 1/2" #9 sweep gouge for the bowl. I would like to get a hook knife kit and then maybe a wide #7 gouge as well to help hog out the bowls. carving is very much about setting yourself up to take clean cuts without putting any of yourself downwind of a blade's throw. I didn't take the interim shots of the spoon's progression. I hogged out the bowl from the wood billet first, then roughed out the shape on my bandsaw, then refined it progressively using a knife chisels and my spokeshave. I further refined the bowl using this sort of cut where my curled up fingers hold the gouge and only allow a small amount of movement. So many tricks to learn.

while at Suki's place, this 6board chest caught my eye. it was a very handsome box...

Saturday, October 22, 2016

queen size bed i

I'm looking to build a new bed for us. our current system is just a mattress on top of a box spring, on top of a foldable metal frame. it's i guess easy to carry from one apartment to the next, however i'm interested in something a little more comfortable, having a back rest and good stability.

I've been sketching this in my notebook for a while. Originally wanting to have some built-in drawers underneath but finally scrapping that idea. i dont' think we really need storage there since there is plenty elsewhere and it makes the whole project much more complicated.

I still like the idea of some cantilevered bedside storage for each of us that I'll have to design some way of attachment to the headboard. I'd like for these to be fairly sturdy, just in case someone tries to sit on them :-)

before hunting down the timber for the project, I first needed to make a full scale mock-up of the headboard. You can see it curves in two directions, inward and back. I want to do laminated curved panel, like the one I did for our guest bedroom futon.
I still have not figured out how to do a captured panel with grooves in the surrounding frame, though. In the previous work, I had the panel attached to a subframe that could readily be skrewed into the surrounding frame. This seems kind of ugly for the back of a bed's headboard, which while usually propped against the wall, is still something you can see if you're a nerd squinting around the edges, right?

Sunday, October 9, 2016

a built-in book case for Jen W on Market St.

Today I finished Jen's built-in book case for her home/office. Here are some install photos
The process began with a review of the current space. THere was a cinderblock shelving unit which she wanted to replace with something that fit the room a little better. A handsome built-in on the wall facing the windows is an example of what you'd typically see in one of these craftsman style bungalows all over the east bay area. I wanted to do a book case that was the same height, roughly 84" in line with the casement molding of the doorway into the kitchen.
Before I left, i made sure to take a lot of photos of the existing molding profiles as well as I could. I ended up making the base molding for this shelf using the similar base molding profile along the walls, so as to blend in.
Now some drawings in Sketch-up for Jen to review. We iterated on this a couple rounds. There is a surrealist painting by a close friend of Jen's that she had on the top of the improvised shelving that she wanted to be featured more prominently in this construction. We decided on this one, where the painting is hung from a floating panel attached to the center of the book case
To mount the painting, I decided on some adjustable height french cleats that can use the existing shelf pin holes. French Cleats are very handy for mounting things in plane. I used 1/4" dowel pins that could be driven into the holes on the shelf sides
Every built-in I do starts with a base-frame that I try to get as perfectly level as possible. THe bookcase consists of two stacked boxes that will be skrewed onto this base once it's level
Here we see the two case-boxes stacked onto the base frame. THese were skrewed into the wall studs along their respective top edges using a 3/4" nailer strip that was attached to the back, and then shims to accommodate the out-of-plumb wall. all walls are out of plumb, y'know...

I then applied the horizontal molding pieces which were already pre-mitered and painted. I just needed to cut the waist and crown to lenghth and then nail them in place. Since the floor was not level, i had to scribe the base molding into it first. Once these were nailed in, I could attach the vertical scribe molding to the walls.

Using my spoke shave to cut the side molding to the scribe line. I had to get creative with work holding using a hand clamp. My sawhorses, Kirby and Matilda were very helpful. It was largely an unplugged day, save for my battery powered drill and driver.
Update: today i got a photo with all her books returned

Monday, May 30, 2016

island countertop installed

Matt McGrane over at Tiny Shop Woodworks asked about the finish for the sapele countertop...Couple months ago i asked the guys at MacBeath what to use for countertops and they pointed me to this food-safe treatment called "The Good Stuff". It is a gel that you smear on, then wipe off. it's hard to go wrong and you can build layers slowly until desired protection. since i wont be cutting directly on the countertop. 3 coats seems to give good protection against water and I feel safe putting a beverage with condensation on it without rings forming immediately. Although truth is I don't really care about that kind of wear/tear on the kitchen. Rings, dings, and dents, that's all kind of what happens in a "user" kitchen.
the island countertop is clenched to the lower cabinets using some tiedown buttons that fit into 1/4" grooves i built into the rails when I was milling them up. I think I was lazy here. Instead of weak grooves just 1/4" thick running the length of the rail, I should have placed them deeper and not run them all the length of the board. I did it this way because I was milling grooves for the 1/4" panels and just kept my router setup the way it was. Well if these blow out i know how to fix it, and I can do that if need be.

Friday, May 27, 2016

island countertop in sapele 2'x8'

Earthsource Lumber in west Oakland had a *this much* flatsawn 4/4 sapele, warped and wowed. Sad to hear they will be going out of business next month. THey were an oasis of magnificent odd lot timber, just down Addeline street from me.

well i needed to make a kitchen island countertop, roughly 8' long and 2' deep, supported by two lower cabinet bases. The idea would be similar to how i made the passthrough countertop for the kitchen/dining room threshold. Take the flatsawn, rip to 1,7/8" wide strips, laminate, breadboard end, presto.

I make sure each board is ripped and laminated sequentially so that the grain on the side looks consistent. You end up with swooshes consistent with one another this way
I did a multi-stage lamination for a couple reasons. First to avoid the glue skinning over by the time i would have taken to glue up the entire piece. But also because I wanted to joint/plane each component board in my 12" capacity jointer/planer. once the pieces were thicknessed, I did a final glue-up of the two sides for the final assembly.
I neglected to show the joinery going on here, but it's a garden variety breadboard end, with a stub tenon going the entire width, and 3 1,1/2" tongues going deeper into the end so that they can accept a draw-bore peg.
I used a scraper plane and a card scraper to smooth most the tear-out from my planer. I also used a ROS using 100grit followed by 120grit.

Finish is called "THe Good Stuff", which is a food friendly wood countertop preparation. It feels pretty tough and builds nicely. 3 coats is all i want.

Imagine this slab being placed on the two lower cabinet units in the middle of the floor here